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Bonnie Collins and Elaine Hammond

Integrating Spirituality Into Social Work Practice: A Conversation (part 2 of 2)

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“I really stress very strongly that, as a social worker, if you are going to integrate spirituality into your work you have to find out where you are in your own spirituality. And you have to do that kind of in a formal way so that you really are grounded in it.”

Bonnie Collins &
Elaine Hammond

Many of our clients have a strong spiritual aspect to their lives. Their spirituality can often be a great source of strength and resilience, as well as a potential site for challenges and obstacles. Learning to skillfully integrate spirituality into practice and navigate it in our work with clients is an important social work skill. In this podcast, the second of two parts, Bonnie Collins and Elaine Hammond discuss practical strategies and ideas for engaging clients in discussions and practices related to their spirituality. These include the purposeful use of activities such as ritual, ceremony, meditation, and prayer. Collins and Hammond also suggest a variety of resources for social workers looking to integrate spirituality into their own practices. Along the way, they provide many examples of ways to use spirituality from their own professional practices to illustrate different possibilities.

Bonnie Collins EdM, LCSW-R, is a Family Counselor and Social Work Educator with expertise in Stress Management and Surviving Childhood Trauma. She is a retired adjunct faculty member at the University at Buffalo Graduate School of Social Work and presents psycho-educational seminars to various agencies and industries throughout the Western New York area.

Elaine Hammond, LMSW, has been employed in the field of social work for thirty-five years, working with a wide variety of client systems. She is dedicated to praxis models that integrate the best in evidence-based practice, authentic relationship and creativity in support of the body, mind and spirit of client systems and practitioners, alike. In the past ten years Elaine has helped to develop courses in Trauma & Human Rights, Social Context & Human Biology, and Spirituality at the University at Buffalo School of Social Work, and in Mindfulness and Professional Development at the School of Law. Elaine has a small private practice where she works with very young children and their families as well as with adults whose traumatizing event occurred in early childhood.

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